Saturday, May 16, 2015

O’Reilly: Easier for President Obama to ‘Demonize’ Fox News Than to Address Real Poverty Issues! ^ | 8:31 pm, May 14th, 2015 | by Josh Feldman 

Because literally everyone else on Fox has done it already, Bill O’Reilly tonight weighed in on President Obama swiping at Fox News for its coverage of the poor. O’Reilly admitted he has no problem with the president going after Fox, because if he really does have a “beef” with the network, O’Reilly wants to know about it.
He argued that Obama should know better and that it’s “a lot easier for the president to demonize Fox News, which tells the truth, than it is for him to stress personal responsibility.”
For the record, in the forum where Obama made those remarks, he only briefly mentioned Fox and also talked at some length about personal responsibility in the black community.
The focus of O’Reilly’s segment, however, was not on the overall critique of Fox, but on NYT columnist Charles Blow calling him personally out on the subject. O’Reilly angrily denounced Blow as a smear merchant taking him out of context over what he’s said about poor people.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

When Will Hillary Answer for Her Iraq Vote? ^ | May 15, 2015 | David Harsanyi 

You can't be more straightforward: "Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?" Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked presumptive GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush about the Iraq War. Without hesitation, Bush replied: "I would have."
Bush went on to qualify his answer, adding that "so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would have almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."
Well, even if we give Bush the benefit of the doubt and concede that he was probably answering the question "Knowing what we knew then, would you have authorized the war?" rather than the one Kelly posed, it was still remarkably tone-deaf.
As a political matter, polls find that a large number of Americans (even many Republicans) believe Iraq wasn't worth the price. And considering all the setbacks and lives lost during the campaign, voters deserve a more nuanced answer from a person vying to be commander in chief.
For many people, Bush's comments will be disqualifying because they see the war in Iraq as a disaster. Not necessarily a disaster that has anything to do with conspiratorial motivations liberals assign to the war -- no cabal of neocon imperialists trading lives for oil or empire -- but a disaster when judged against the promises made by George W. Bush's administration. And it wasn't only about intelligence failures. Even setting aside the fact that we never found weapons of mass destruction, the war failed to create a self-sustaining, vibrant democracy in Iraq -- or, for that matter, any genuine thirst for freedom elsewhere in the Muslim world.
But that's not exactly a difficult position for me -- or others who supported the invasion in 2003 -- to take, certainly not after the benefit of more than a decade of reflection. So though Jeb should be held accountable for his obtuse position on Iraq, shouldn't the people who sanctioned and advocated the removal of the Baathist regime be the focus of similar condemnation?
In her book "Hard Choices," Hillary Clinton, "apologized" (as the press put it at the time) for giving President Bush authorization to use force in Iraq, writing: "I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong."
In a 2006 interview on the "Today" show, Clinton answered the question Jeb was asked: "Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn't have been a vote." Clinton went on to say, "I certainly wouldn't have voted that way."
When a policy fails or the public turns against it, admitting that you wouldn't vote for it doesn't exactly make you Dietrich Bonhoeffer. If you or I knew what we know now, then we'd be (almost) perfect. And apologies are not an exemption from accountability. The problem with Clinton's position is that none of us ever knows "what we know now" when we make decisions. Her job, then, was to challenge the executive branch and remain duly skeptical of its case -- which she was not.
But even if we suspend our disbelief and believe that her initial vote wasn't driven by political expediency (remember that voters supported an invasion in big numbers) or that her so-called apology wasn't driven by political expediency (by the time she switched, a big majority of Democrats believed Iraq was a mistake), how does a voter know that Clinton won't make another mistake the next time she is faced with one of those hard choices? The Iraq War vote was the most consequential one Clinton made as a senator, and by her own admission, she failed. Isn't that the way voters judge candidates who run on their experience and wisdom? Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has to be president.
And Clinton wasn't just fooled by faulty or misleading intelligence or led astray by a dishonest administration. In her floor speech defending the vote to invade, she made a passionate case for intervention little different from the one the administration was making for the long-term prospects of the region.
Because economic turmoil ultimately defined the 2008 elections, we may forget that the most consequential distinction between Clinton and Barack Obama -- other than raw political talent -- was the war. In fact, Obama rose to prominence as an Iraq War critic in 2002. Though Clinton may not have lost the nomination directly over her vote authorizing war, it was the issue that propelled her opponent and the grass-roots hostility to her candidacy. Even knowing what they know now about Clinton, Democrats will have to forgive her because she's "apologized" -- but mostly because they really have no choice. Yet it's worth remembering that if candidates were judged on their retroactive positions, they would all be perfect.

Obama's Foreign Policy Like Carter's in 1979!

Newsmax ^ | Thursday, 14 May 2015 08:43 PM | Greg Richter 

President Barack Obama's foreign policy failures have the world looking a lot like it did at the close of the Carter administration, says House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"This is like 1979 all over again," the California Republican said Thursday on Fox News Channel.
The last time Americans were being held hostage was in 1979 in Iran; today, they are being held by the Islamic State (ISIS), McCarthy said. Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and now have invaded Ukraine, he added. Before Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the Benghazi attacks in 2012, the last American ambassador to die in the line of duty was Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan — in 1979.
Another similarity, McCarthy said, was that in 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed the SALT II Treaty with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons. Today, Congress is considering Obama's Iran nuclear deal.
People rose up against the SALT II agreement, and it was never ratified, McCarthy noted. "America rose up, led this world economically and also made the world safer," he said.
He said he expects the same to happen with the Iran deal.
McCarthy said the Camp David Gulf Cooperation Council summit on Thursday with Persian Gulf nations was a prime example of America's lost standing in the world. Most heads of state did not show up, sending other representatives, in what many considered a snub over Obama's policies.
"The king of Bahrain is at a horse show with the queen of England," McCarthy said. "So, that to me says a lot about respect, but also what this administration has done to our allies around the world.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton described the summit as a "catastrophe," telling Van Susteren that Obama's statement after the summit was worse than he had expected.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Everything's Up in Obama's America: Poverty, Taxes, Debt, and Gas Prices! ^ | May 15, 2015 | Donald Lambro 

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama participated in a panel discussion this week about poverty in America, but failed to acknowledge the central reason why it has remained so high under his presidency.
And that reason has to do with anti-growth policies that have held back tens of millions of low income Americans, and destroyed entry level jobs that would help the poor get on the first rung of the economic ladder.
The Census Bureau, which gathers the nation's poverty data, said that more than 45 million Americans were stuck below the poverty line, according to figures released late last year.
This means that nearly 15 percent of all Americans live in poverty.
Obama never misses an opportunity to brag about how much better life in America is under his presidency, often cherry picking numbers that leave out other statistics that show how bad things really are in Obama's economy.
He can't do that with the poverty numbers we've seen under his administration. With a little more than a year and a half remaining in his presidency, poverty rates are much higher than the 12.3 percent level under his predecessor in 2006, before the Great Recession began.
You might think Obama would have reached one or two conclusions about why poverty remains so high under his presidency.
But he hasn't a clue, as he fully demonstrated during a panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University on Tuesday.
Consider his odd observation that racial segregation in America has since been replaced by "class segregation," a societal change that, he said, needs to be addressed.
That sounds very much like the class warfare themes Obama has demagogued throughout his two campaigns for president. But how can we lift the poor out of poverty? He didn't say.
Here's a sampling of Obama's muddled thinking about all this:
"The stereotype is that you've got folks on the left who just want to pour more money into social programs and don't care anything about culture or parenting or family structures," he said.
"And then you've got cold-hearted free-market capitalist types who are reading Ayn Rand and think everybody are moochers. And I think the truth is more complicated," he added.
It is certainly more complicated, but the president didn't seem willing to wade into those complexities.
Maybe because they haven't been part of his economic agenda over the past six and a half years when, in much of the country, it's been harder to find a job, especially for minority teenagers and young adults whose jobless rates are in the double-digits under policies.
Nowhere in the news reports about this conference did I see the words "economic growth" or anything about the importance of entry level "job growth" and how pivotal that is to improving the lives of poor or low income Americans.
Certainly Obama didn't bring this up in his rambling and incoherent presentation.
At one point in the panel discussion, he dealt at some length about how Fox News characterizes the poor as "moochers" who simply want government handouts.
"They will find folks who make me mad. I don't know where they find them," he said. "They're like, I don't want to work. I just want a free Obamaphone or whatever. And that becomes the entire narrative."
Poverty is a serious issue, but Obama hasn't taken it seriously, if he or the Democrats have any idea how deal with it. Which, it should be obvious by now, they don't.
In his first year in office, Obama naively thought that if he threw enough money at unemployment, the economy would quickly recover.
But after $1 trillion or more in one spending program after another, the economy remained in intensive care for years and, even today, is still said to be in "recovery." The nation's persistently high poverty levels are but one of the recession's still-lingering illnesses.
Obama should have learned his lesson from President Lyndon Johnson's costly "War on Poverty" program in the 1960s. Billions of dollars were spent to eradicate poverty across the country through hundreds of programs, only to be abandoned as one of the costliest social failures of the 20th Century.
One of the supporters of LBJ's anti-poverty programs was the late Connecticut Sen. Abraham Ribicoff who later became one its severest critics.
"Our antipoverty efforts failed," the liberal Democratic lawmaker later wrote. "The philosophy of the 1960s -- to provide a vast array of services to the poor -- must be judged by results. There are 26 million poor Americans -- not because they lack social services, advice and counseling but because they lack money, the great equalizer."
"I started with high hopes. It sounded good. But when you analyzed what's been accomplished, the balance sheet indicates they have generally been failures," he told me later in an interview.
Obama hasn't learned from America's history of failed anti-poverty programs.
The poor need jobs, especially in our inner cities and urban centers, and that requires incentives to pour capital investment into start-up businesses. Instead, he has killed business investment by raising taxes on it.
Unemployed, unskilled, high school dropouts need entry-level jobs to get work experience, but such jobs are being eliminated in states that raised the minimum wage, just as Obama wants. If you are looking for the root causes of poverty today, look no further than Obama's anti-growth, anti-job policies.
John F. Kennedy won the presidency calling for across-the-board income tax cuts, promising "a rising tide lifts all boats."
Obama won the presidency calling for higher taxes and promising to reduce poverty. He raised both.

How the Clintons worked Haiti ^ | May 14, 2015 | Scott Johnson 

[I]n the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the Obama administration and Congress gave Bill Clinton carte blanche in handling hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars flowing to Haiti for recovery and reconstruction. This translated into enormous political power for the former president in the poorest country in the hemisphere, making him a de facto cacique.

Mr. Clinton loves to paint himself as a third-world redeemer, as he did in an interview in Africa with an NBC reporter that aired last week. The reporter asked about charges that the Clinton Foundation’s practice of pulling in big money from governments and wealthy donors during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state was a conflict of interest. Mr. Clinton countered that he’s helping the poor.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

“Calamity” Clinton to Blame for Benghazi Massacre

London Telegraph ^ | May 15th, 2015 | reasonmclucus 

The Republicans are once again investigating how al Qaeda won a major victory by destroying the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and killing American Ambassador Chris Stevens. Hopefully, this time they will abandon conspiracy theories and consider the possibility that American stupidity allowed the massacre to occur.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


Breitbart ^ | 05/15/2015 | AN HANCHETT 

MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews said that Republicans “treat trains like Hispanics” on Thursday.
Matthews argued that AMTRAK could “unite this country. It wouldn’t be flyover country, it would be one country again. Rail could bring us together. Culturally, it would be the greatest thing. St. Louis would boom, Cincinnati, all those train stops, all those rail heads would be back in business big-time, if we were united by rail, instead of flyover, looking down on the people, the everyday people.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Clintons Reportedly Earned $30 Million in the Last 16 Months!

New York Times ^ | May 15, 2015 | By MAGGIE HABERMAN and STEVE EDER 

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband made at least $30 million over the last 16 months, with the bulk of their income derived from more than 100 paid speeches, an official with her presidential campaign said late on Friday.
The couple’s earnings and assets were to be detailed in personal financial disclosure forms that Mrs. Clinton and other presidential candidates were required to file with federal election officials no later than Friday.
The filings cover the period since January 2014. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Barack and Michelle Obama’s race to the bottom!

Canada Free Press ^ | 05/15/15 | Jeff Crouere 

With poor results at home and abroad, Obamas will continue to stir the racial pot, distract from their reign of error and lead Americans on a very disturbing race to the bottom on the issue of race relations
As the Obama administration mercifully begins to wind toward the end of its second term, both the President and the First Lady will continue to distract from their horrible record. Their favorite distraction is to claim racial discrimination exists in this nation and it needs to be corrected through government action.
Even though we are not living in Mississippi in 1964, the President and Mrs. Obama continue to emphasize that America has not progressed enough from the Jim Crow era. They minimize the tremendous progress that African Americans have made in this country and focus on the challenges that remain.
Instead of dealing with the problems they have created, the First Couple engage in a continual discussion about race while employing racially divisive rhetoric. Although it may be skillful and politically expedient, it has done tremendous damage to race relations in the nation.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...